It’s no secret among those that know me that I have a bone to pick with the American education system. And the economic system…and how society treats various groups and religions…and well…
We’re getting off topic.
It’s easy enough to criticize those systems, and smarter people than I do that with eloquence and detailed research. So, instead of retreading, I’m writing this for the students stuck in that system. Those of you suffering under it.
Because, well, I don’t want you to think learning is bad. Or that knowledge is bad. It’s super not. Information elevated humanity. It continues to do so. Just, the issue is you’re not getting it presented to you correctly—or in a medium that works well.
With just access to the internet, you’ve probably picked up information faster, more effectively, and about chosen topics that are more relevant to you than any calculus class. And that’s still learning. And we, as a world, will move more toward that soon.
But, in the meantime, hold on and try to sponge up data, because though geometry might never be useful to you—and learning how to do your taxes would be a better allocation of your time—it’s not the specifics that matter (unless it does to your career goals), but the underlying mental state certain information creates.
The education system may exist to produce factory workers, but learning, real learning, makes you survive better, apply logic more, and think beyond your own experiences and perspectives.
Learning’s real goal is empathy and creativity and problem-solving. I personally do not care how much about the specifics of history you know, if you still learn not to repeat the cruelty, injustice, racism, sexism, and other demons of our past.
The real, correct endpoint, is to make people better able to handle the world. So, muscle through school with that as the goal. Make something like that the reason you wake up and trudge to that place.
You might just be a step toward achieving the hardest thing it is to be: a truly good person.
Hell, I’m out of school, and I’m still working on that one.